Mentor Tips - Members entering profiles with no sources, what to do?

+42 votes

Everyday, I come across profiles old and new that have been entered into WikiTree with no, or very poor sourcing.  What do I do?

I take a mintue or two or ten and look for a source.  The time it takes me to find a source or to find a clue as to where a source might be found, is the same amount of time it would take for me to complain about it.  We are all mentors, we all volunteered to help.

  1. We collaborate. When we share ancestors we work together on the same ancestor profiles. (even if we don't share these exact ancestors)
  2. We care about accuracy. We're always aiming to improve upon our worldwide family tree and fix mistakes.
  3. (This is really 8)We cite sources. Without sources we can't objectively resolve conflicting information.

So the honor code says we cite sources AND improve WikiTree AND correct mistakes.  It's a mistake not to add sources, but it happens.

What do YOU do about it?


in The Tree House by Mags Gaulden G2G6 Pilot (511k points)
edited by Keith Hathaway

2 Answers

+25 votes
Best answer

Thanks, Mags!

Another quick tip - If you can't find sources or you are unfamiliar with where to look for sources for that particular profile, you can add it to the Unsourced Profiles category by putting [[Category:Unsourced_Profiles]] or one of the subcategories at the top of the Biography. Anyone who enjoys sprucing up profiles should check those categories out. There are a lot of profiles looking for some time and TLC.

by Erin Breen G2G6 Pilot (224k points)
selected by Jeannette Saladino
Ditto what Erin said.

Erin --

It was suggested to me to use the {{Unsourced}} template when I run across these.

You can add a parameter to it to indicate which country the unsourced profile belongs to -- e.g., {{Unsourced | United States}} or {{Unsourced | German}}

This template puts the Unsourced category on the profile depending on the country information you provide -- if you don't have country information, just leave the " | country name" off.

Thanks, Erin, for your reiminder about the use of Categories. I will now begin to use this source to determine of my pages need a bit of sprucing up.
A lot of time is spent adding sources or marking Unsourced. It is almost impossible to source everything! I have tried to mark genealogically defined profiles. They are the few. Stop beating us up for not being perfect. If you go back and mark genealogically defined you will see. I suppose the ones that never married or had children could be defined easier. Maybe we should have a challenge to mark genealogically defined profiles!
+17 votes
I will also look for sources, but I also check to see how active the manager is.  If they are active then I will only post the source as a comment on the profile because they might not know how to find them themselves or they might be working on something else.  If they are not very active then I would just add them in the source section and move on.  Either way they have the source and then it is up to the manager.
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)

You are such a good person!  Please, though, if you come across unsourced profiles that have me as manager, by all means feel free to do whatever you can to them - in ten lifetimes I am not likely to be able to get to all the profiles in that abandoned gedcom I adopted.

My work proirity on them is to determine whether they belong in the Holocaust project (about 1/4 of them are in the project, so far).  Those are the ones I am concentrating on trying to create at least a minimal profile for.  After that, if I'm still alive, I'll go back for a second look at any of the remaining ones to try to do something for them.  I *NEED* all the help anyone wants to give me on these!!!


I will add sources to any profile you manage if I come accross one, but I also have a lot of profiles that I adopted and I concentrate my time on finding sources for them.  most of the time I encounter unsourced profiles managed by another it is because I found a source document that list's others and I always try to add the document to all profiles that are covered by that source.  That makes it very unlikley that our paths will cross, sorry.
<jumping up and down waving my hands in the air> Me too Dale, me too!  Mags
Yeah I'd much rather you place them into the narrative. Takes the same amount of time for open profiles.  Thanks for all you do!
Dale,  over the years I have been on Wikitree you have been very helpful to me on many occasions.  Especially when I first started.

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